Anthropologist Wade Davis is National Geographic's "Explorer-in-Residence," and deservedly so. His books about indigenous cultures are more exciting and stranger than any Indiana Jones adventure. I became a fan after reading his book about voudon and zombie culture in Haiti, called The Serpent and the Rainbow (skip the awful movie with the same name -- it bears almost no resemblance to Davis' book).
Davis has a new book, called The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, and he's going to give a talk about it at the Long Now Foundation On January 13. It will be hosted by Stewart Brand.
(Above, Wade Davis at TED, talking about "the Elder Brothers, a group of Sierra Nevada indians whose spiritual practice holds the world in balance.")
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects